This is an excerpt from my dialogue with my language partner. For some context, I basically asked her about the difference in について and は, since both can be translated to "Concerning X".

The sentence in question: 「ついて」の使い方ですが、後ろに名詞が来るか、動詞が来るかで少し違います。

My attempt at translation: "About the usage of 「ついて」, it varies a bit based on wether a noun or a verb comes at the rear."

Here, I basically interpreted で as a marker for a "means" or better a "cause", like in 事故 で 電車が止まりました。 However, I also learned in my textbook that to express something like "depending on X, it is A or B", a construction with によって is used, like this: 好きな食べ物は人によって違います。

That's why I wanted to ask wether my interpretation of で in the sentence above is legit or not.

1 Answer 1


Your explanation is perfect in every sense.

Yes, this 「で」 has the same meaning as 「によって」. So you can rephrase the original sentence as 「後ろに名詞が来るか、動詞が来るかによって少し違います」.

This meaning of 「で」 can formally be expressed as "cause", though I feel like 「で」 has sometimes a meaning like "depending on", for example in 「この店の売り物は曜日変わる」.

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